Over 40% of all attacks are from the USA and FL is the number one state, Interesting data…
VIA – FLORIDA HISTORY OF NATURAL HISTORY
ISAF 2010 Worldwide Shark Attack Summary
(REVISED: 1 February 2011)
The International Shark Attack File (ISAF) investigated 115 alleged incidents of shark-human interaction occurring worldwide in 2010. Upon review, 79 of these incidents represented confirmed cases of unprovoked shark attack on humans. “Unprovoked attacks” are defined as incidents where an attack on a live human by a shark occurs in its natural habitat without human provocation of the shark. Incidents involving sharks and divers in public aquaria or research holding-pens, shark-inflicted scavenge damage to already dead humans (most often drowning victims), attacks on boats, and provoked incidents occurring in or out of the water are not considered unprovoked attacks. “Provoked attacks” usually occur when a human initiates physical contact with a shark, e.g. a diver bit after grabbing a shark, a fisher bit while removing a shark from a net, and attacks on spearfishersand those feeding sharks. The 36 incidents not accorded unprovoked status in 2010 included 22 provoked attacks, 3 cases of sharks biting marine vessels, 4 incidents dismissed as non-shark attacks, 5 “scavenge” incidents involving post-mortem bites, and 2 cases in which insufficient information was available to determine if an unprovoked shark attack had occurred. In time, as further evidence is gathered, some of the latter may be assigned to one of the alternate categories.
The 2010 yearly total of 79 unprovoked attacks was higher than the 63 unprovoked attacks 2009 and the highest since 2000 (80). The number of unprovoked shark attacks has grown at a steady pace over the past century with each decade having more attacks than the previous. The growth in shark attack numbers does not necessarily mean that there is an increase in the rate of shark attack, rather it most likely is reflective of the ever-increasing amount of time spent in the sea by humans, which increases the odds of interaction between the two affected parties.
The number of shark-human interactions occurring in a given year is directly correlated to the amount of time humans spent in the sea. As world population continues its upsurge and interest in aquatic recreation concurrently rises, we realistically should expect increases in the number of shark attacks and other aquatic recreation-related injuries. If shark populations remain the same or increase in size, one might predict that there should be more attacks each year than in the previous year because more people are in the water. Shark populations, by contrast, actually are declining at a serious rate or are holding at greatly reduced levels in many areas of the world as a result of over-fishing and habitat loss, theoretically reducing the opportunity for these shark-human interactions. However, year-to-year variability in local economic, social, meteorological and oceanographic conditions also significantly influences the local abundance of sharks and humans in the water and, therefore, the odds of encountering one another. As a result, short-term trends in the number of shark attacks – up or down – must be viewed with caution. Thus, the ISAF prefers to view trends over longer periods of time (e.g., by decade) rather than trying to assign too much significance to often high year-to-year variability.
In addition to increases in the number of hours spent in the water by humans, the ISAF’s efficiency in discovering and investigating attacks has increased greatly over the past decade, leading to further increases in attack number. Transfer of the ISAF to the Florida Museum of Natural History in 1988 resulted in greatly expanded international coverage of attack incidents and a consequent jump in the number of documented attacks. In the early 1990’s the ISAF was able to develop important cooperative relationships with many Florida beach safety organizations and medical facilities, leading to increased documentation of attacks from a region that is a world leader in aquatic recreation. Fundamental advances in electronic communication (the Internet and email), a greatly expanded network of global ISAF scientific observers, and a rise in interest in sharks throughout the world, spawned in part by increased media attention given to sharks, have promoted more complete documentation of attack incidents in recent years. The ISAF web pages which include electronic copies of the Attack Questionnaire in four languages as well as a plethora of statistics and educational material about sharks, comprises the most highly accessed shark site on the Internet. Our strong web presence regularly results in the receipt of unsolicited documentation of shark attacks. Many of these attacks likely would have been missed in the past because they occurred in communication-poor locales or areas lacking ISAF representatives.
Six fatalities resulting from an unprovoked attack occurred in 2010, only slightly above totals from recent years (the 2001-2010 yearly average was 4.3). These unprovoked fatalities were recorded from Egypt (1), Australia (1), South Africa (2), Florida (1), and California (1). The number of serious attacks in 2001-2010, as measured by fatality rate (7.0%), has been lower than that of the decade of the 1990’s (13.0%), continuing a twentieth century reduction trend reflective of advances in beach safety practices and medical treatment, and increased public awareness of avoiding potentially dangerous situations.
As in recent years, North American waters had the most(42%: 32 attacks) unprovoked attacks in 2010. The total of 36 attacks in the United States (including four in Hawaii) wason par with the 2001-2010 decadal average of 38.6. Elsewhere, attacks occurred in Australia (14), South Africa (8), Vietnam (6) and Egypt (6), with a single incidents reported from the Bahamas, Brazil, Fiji, Madagascar, Mascarene Islands, Solomon Islands, Canary Islands, Tonga, United Arab Emirates. Surfers (50.8% of cases) and swimmers/waders (37.7%) and were the recreational groups most often involved in shark attacks in 2010. Less affected were snorkelers/divers (8.2%) and those using inflatable rafts and inner-tubes (3.3%).
Following recent trends, Florida again had most of the unprovoked attacks in the United States. The total of 13 attacks was the lowest total since a dozen incidents were documented in 2004 and fell well below the 2001-2010 average of 23.1. Additional U.S. attacks were recorded in North Carolina (5), California (4), South Carolina (4), and Hawaii (4), with single attacks occurring in Georgia, Maine, Washington, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia. Within Florida, Volusia County had the most incidents (6). This area normally has higher numbers of shark-human interactions as a result of very high aquatic recreational utilization of its attractive waters by both Florida residents and tourists, especially surfers. Other Florida areas having attacks in 2010 were St.Johns (3), Duval (2), Brevard (1), and Martin (1)…
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